Southside High School graduates 107 students

Published 7:55 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019


Washington Daily News

Below a ‘commitment to graduate’ poster full of the seniors’ signatures, Southside High School’s auditorium was overflowing with proud family members and friends as they waited for their graduate to walk across the stage. Dressed in Seahawk blue, the graduates were celebrated for their accomplishments in the past four years, as well as for their future plans.

“32.3% of this class plans to attend a four year college or university,” Southside Principal Rick Anderson said as the audience cheered. “Forty percent of this class will attend a two-year college. Fifteen percent will go on and seek employment, and 12% of this class will serve out military forces. I want to be the first to thank you ahead of time for your service.”

Following the principal’s remarks, salutatorian Carleigh Findley and valedictorian Alyssa McLawhorn both gave their speeches, preparing the Class of 2019 for the years ahead of them.

“Inevitably, we’re all going to fail at some point,” Findley said. “But don’t look at failure as a bad thing. Look at failure as practice for what you’re truly meant to do in your life… Shoot for the stars, shoot for your goals, but most importantly, shoot for God’s will.”

Similar to her best friend’s words of advice, McLawhorn used her valedictorian address to challenge her fellow graduates to chase their dreams and change the world.

“We are wildly capable individuals who have their whole lives in front of them, waiting for us to take the next step,” McLawhorn said. “Class of 2019, I want to challenge you to pursue your dreams with everything you have… I just want to tell you, the best is yet to come.”

Sitting on the words of wisdom from Findley and McLawhorn, the graduates received their diplomas, some dancing in celebration on the way back to their seat. Student government vice president Simone Henry then called for her peers to turn their tassels, and the students welcomed adulthood as the crowd celebrated their achievement.

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: The Southside High School Concert Band performed a number of pieces during the ceremony, including “Monticello Mosaic” by Gary Fagan. (Sabrina Berndt/Daily News)